National College Access Network

NCAN Report: Students in Impoverished School Districts Are Less Likely to Apply for Financial Aid

Posted on October 8, 2018

By Jack Porter, Advocacy Associate

The 2019-20 FAFSA cycle begins today, and NCAN (National College Access Network) is releasing a new report on the relationship between school district poverty and FAFSA completion rates. One might hope to see students in lower-income districts applying for aid at higher rates than their wealthier counterparts, but the findings show – for the third year in a row – that the opposite is true.

On average, for every 10-percentage-point increase in the proportion of children living in poverty, a school district’s FAFSA completion rate for the 2018 high school senior class was 2.3 percentage points lower, according to the report. While this persistent negative relationship is discouraging, nine states did buck the trend and exhibited higher FAFSA completion rates in impoverished communities than in wealthier communities.

Read more on the NCAN blog.

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